Unlocking the Voice of the Caregivers

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In the realm of disability, the voice of the caregiver can sometimes go unheard.  Add in the complexities of being a kinship or foster carer where authority for decision making passes through the Chief Executive, or The Office of the Public Guardian and if can feel very disempowering.   Every day the carer of a child with disability may feel challenged to provide adequate support, even in a situation where the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) plan is being assessed or is currently in place.

The good news according to Jason Manley, Kummara Limited and Infinity Community Solutions Ltd  (KICS) Clinician, is that anyone caring for a child or young person with a disability has an opportunity to be empowered through writing a Carers Impact Statement.  “A Carer Impact Statement gives those acting as primary carers for children and young people with disability, an opportunity to have their voice heard when applying for NDIS Support or when a NDIS plan reviewed.” says Mr Manley in an interview on the importance of Carers Impact Statements.

“Kinship and Foster Carers and even Care Practitioners who live and work with children and young people with disability have a vital role to play in determining what is needed to support the children and young people they care for” says Mr Manley,

“They know what is in the best interests of the child.  And while there are some complexities to each individual situation with the help of the support worker and organisation, we can navigate these to ensure their voices are heard” adds Mr Manley.

Each NDIS plan has the primary objective to provide enough funding based on an individual needs to have quality of life, gain greater independence and access new skills through being able to access support and services.   The plan will also consider the role family, carers, and other informal supports play in the participants life.  This is why the significance of a carers impact statement should not be understated.  By listening to the primary caregivers, NDIS planners can gain a comprehensive understanding of the everyday challenges experienced by the individual living with a disability and therefore validate the level of care and support required by not only the needs of the individual but also those of their caregivers.

A well written impact statement should detail the round-the-clock care provided to the child or young person including the full spectrum of physical, practical, and emotional challenges faced over a 24 hour / 7-day week period.   The impact statement should also have a clear description of how ongoing care for the child with disability affects the carer including the impact on the capacity to keep or find employment.   Furthermore, the impact statement should offer insights into the existing support structures in place and highlights the potential consequences of their absence.

“We understand that carer burnout is common.  Caring for a child with a disability can at times be overwhelming impacting physical and mental health of the carer.  So, including all aspects of life caring for a child with a disability is imperative for the planner to gauge the full depth of care required” Mr Manley points out.  “One of the core goals for the NDIS is to better support the carers.  And this means consideration for all circumstances around caring for that child”.

While a carers impact statement should get to the point in a one-page summary, it needs to be comprehensive enough to explain the true extend of how the NDIS plan will help the individual and carer.   And the KICS support workers are there to support our kinship and foster carers in preparing a carer impact statement, helping to navigate the NDIS system, simplifying forms and walking alongside them to ensure the carers have their voices heard.

By providing support in amplifying the voices of caregivers, we truly are moving to a place of collaboration which is emphasised in the Family Partnership Model we work with throughout our programs.  As kinship and foster carers continue to navigate the complexities of their roles, we will stand beside them, empowering them to articulate their needs and goals through the transformative power of the Carers Impact Statement.


Infinity Community Solutions Ltd is motivated to make a difference in the lives of individuals through early intervention, out of home care, and participating in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).

KICS Kinship and Foster Care Service (KICS KFC) is a child and young person centred, whole of family focused out of home care service resting on the foundation practice framework of the Family Partnership Model (FPM). This model provides out of home care support while maintaining a whole of family lens focused on wellbeing, attachment and bonding through case management and the application of family led decision making principles. Our team will work collaboratively with the whole family including parents, grandparents, and extended family, to secure a stable and enduring kinship and foster care placement while it is required.